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Leena Cooks n Cans: Cucumber and Zucchini Pickles/Relishes for July’s Tigress Can Jam!

By on Jul 19, 2010 in Canning, Condiments, Leena Cooks, Pickles, Relishes | 9 comments

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Leena Cooks n Cans: Cucumber and Zucchini Pickles/Relishes for Julys Tigress Can Jam!

From cucumbers and zucchinis to two pickles and three relishes: bread and butter pickles, garlic dill pickles, Indian-style relish, Spicy Garlic Dill Relish, and in front, Zucchini BBQ Relish, all for July's Tigress Can Jam!

Wow. When Gloria over at Laundry, ETC. named this month’s can jam project to be cucurbits, to be honest, I wasn’t excited. WTF are cucurbits, you might ask? According to Gloria, “it refers to Cucurbitaceae, a plant family commonly known as melons and gourds, including crops like cucumbers, squashes (including pumpkins), loofahs, melons and watermelons…” To me, there is nothing special about cucumbers and zucchini. At all. I was the opposite of excited.

And then a bitch canned five different products. FIVE! And then a bitch remembered, oh yeah! I’m a pickle whore! and a bitch was able to stock her larder for the entire winter with pickles and relishes and experiment with a few new recipes. The bitch felt a bit like, well, a bitch.

Cucurbits, you have humbled me. I am not worthy.

Five recipes and food porn after the jump.

Leena Cooks n Cans: Cucumber and Zucchini Pickles/Relishes for Julys Tigress Can Jam!

Pickling cucumbers.

So, let me be clear here—I am not trying to be an overachiever by doing five recipes. I am anything but. My friends would describe me as a motivated lazy person. But when it comes to making pickles and relishes, there is really not a lot to it. Chop some veg, let it soak in salt and release liquid, drain. Simmer a quick brine (either a syrup for sweet pickles or a salt brine for savory pickles), layer veg, brine in jar and can.

Leena Cooks n Cans: Cucumber and Zucchini Pickles/Relishes for Julys Tigress Can Jam!

Zuuchinis that I purchased from an organic farm located in Watsonville, California.

It’s not a long, complicated process like making jam, where you really need to pay attention to one thing at a time. So, being the motivated lazy person that I am, I spent one night chopping, and letting my veg soak in salt to release liquid.

Leena Cooks n Cans: Cucumber and Zucchini Pickles/Relishes for Julys Tigress Can Jam!

The prepared veg for pickles and relishes: Indian-style relish, Spicy Dill relish, cucumbers for bread n butter and garlic dill pickle slices, and zucchini bbq relish.

The next day, I rinsed and drained all my veg, prepped all the brines in different bowls, so I could quickly wash out a pot and throw the next one in, and went to town, starting with two brines on the stove at once.

In the end, it really didn’t take me all that much longer to do five recipes than to do one. The long part is the chopping, and I did that the day before. Next thing you know–boom. Five different pickles and relishes.

Leena Cooks n Cans: Cucumber and Zucchini Pickles/Relishes for Julys Tigress Can Jam!

My bread and butter pickle slices, a classic sweet and sour pickle that tastes great on it's own.

Leena Cooks n Cans: Cucumber and Zucchini Pickles/Relishes for Julys Tigress Can Jam!

My garlic dill pickle slices, with extra garlic and dill. I love these on their own, on top of a burger, in potato salad....in everything.

Leena Cooks n Cans: Cucumber and Zucchini Pickles/Relishes for Julys Tigress Can Jam!

This is a new relish I'm trying, Indian style cucumber relish. I flavored it with cumin, black and yellow mustard seeds, and fenugreek leaves. I'm supposed to be able to use it as a relish, or mix it with yogurt to create a classic Indian raita, a cooling condiment served with spicy dishes. Pretty stoked about this one.

Leena Cooks n Cans: Cucumber and Zucchini Pickles/Relishes for Julys Tigress Can Jam!

My spicy garlic dill cucumber relish. I basically combined the Indian relish recipe with the garlic dill pickle recipe, and added some hot pepper. I can't wait to try this on a smoked pulled pork sandwich, or a burger, or a hot dog, or a sausage...mmmmm.

Leena Cooks n Cans: Cucumber and Zucchini Pickles/Relishes for Julys Tigress Can Jam!

My zucchini bbq relish. This is a tried and true relish of mine--tastes like your basic sweet pickle relish, but it uses zucchini, which there is always a surplus of in the summer. Tastes very similar to the bread and butter pickles, and great on hots dogs, in egg or potato salad....in your mouth...

The sad part is, I can’t touch these bad boys for an entire month while they cure and get yummy. Drat. Thanks to Gloria and Tigress to reminded of the plant I had a secret love affair with, the cucurbit! And of course…the recipes.

Leena Cooks n Cans: Cucumber and Zucchini Pickles/Relishes for Julys Tigress Can Jam!

The goodies.

Recipe: Leena’s Bread and Butter Pickles

Summary: As always, influenced by recipes from Small Batch Preserving by Topp and Howard.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb small pickling cucumbers
  • 2 small onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp celery seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp allspice

Instructions

  1. Cut the cucumbers into your desired thickness of slices (I like them medium-thick). Place cucumbers, onions and peppers in a nonreactive bowl with the salt, and let stand for at least 3 hours or up to overnight. Drain the liquid, rinse the vegetables twice and drain them completely.
  2. Place vinegar, spices, and sugar in an enamel or stainless steel saucepan. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then add the vegetables and return to boil for 30 seconds, so the cucumbers lose their bright green color.
  3. Take the hot, sterilized canning jars, and pack the vegetables tightly without the liquid into the jars. Really press down and get the vegetables wedged in there. When the jar is heated in the canning pot, the vegetables will shrink a bit, leaving a space, so the more you can fit in, the better. Pour the remaining liquid in the jars, leaving ½ inch headspace at the top. Process the jars 10 minutes for pints, half pints, and 5 minutes for 4 oz jars.

Quick Notes

Yields 3 pints.

Microformatting by hRecipe.

Recipe: Leena’s Garlic Dill Pickle Slices

Summary: Influenced by recipes from Small Batch Preserving by Topp & Howard

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds small pickling cucumbers
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/8 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • a bunch of fresh dill, or if you don’t have it, dried dill
  • a bunch of garlic cloves (as much as you like, but I like a lot of garlic, at least 8 cloves)

Instructions

  1. Cut the cucumbers into your desired thickness of slices (I like them medium-thick). Place cucumbers, and onions in a nonreactive bowl with the salt, and let stand for at least 3 hours or up to overnight. Drain the liquid, rinse the vegetables twice and drain them completely.
  2. Place vinegar, 1 cup of water and 1 tbsp of salt in a large stainless steel or enamel pot. Bring liquid to a boil, then remove from heat.
  3. Take the hot, sterilized jars and place at least one or more smashed cloves of garlic (I like at least two cloves for a half pint jar. The bigger the jar, the more garlic and dill you want to use) and several heads of dill in the bottom. I like a lot, because it takes a lot of fresh dill to get the flavor into the cucumbers. Pack the vegetables tightly on top of the garlic and dill without the liquid into the jars. Really press down and get the vegetables wedged in there. When the jar is heated in the canning pot, the vegetables will shrink a bit, leaving a space, so the more you can fit in, the better. Pour the remaining liquid in the jars, leaving ½ inch headspace at the top. Process the jars 10 minutes for pints, half pints, and 5 minutes for 4 oz jars.

Quick Notes

Yield 2 pints

Microformatting by hRecipe.

Recipe: Leena’s Indian-style Cucumber Relish

Summary: Inspired by a recipe from Small Batch Preserving by Topp & Howard

Ingredients

  • 3 cups diced, peeled cucumber (4-6 medium pickling cucumbers)
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek leaves

Instructions

  1. Put cucumber and onion in a non-reactive bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Let sit for 4 hours or up to overnight, stirring occasionally. Drain liquid from vegetables, rinse twice and drain completely.
  2. Place sugar, spices, and vinegar in a stainless steel or enamel pan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add vegetables and return to a boil for 30 seconds.
  3. Remove hot, sterilized jars and fill with vegetable and liquid, with ½ inch headspace at the top. Clean the top of the jar, place lid on and process in a hot water bath—10 minutes half pints and 4 oz jelly jars, 15 minutes for pint jars.

Quick Notes

Yields 3 cups.

Microformatting by hRecipe.

Recipe: Leena’s Spicy Garlic Dill Cucumber Relish

Summary: Inspired by several recipes from Small Batch Preserving by Topp & Howard

Ingredients

  • 3 cups diced cucumber (4-6 medium pickling cucumbers)
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/8 cup salt
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • a bunch of fresh dill, or if you don’t have it, dried dill
  • a bunch of garlic cloves, minced
  • dried red pepper flakes to taste, depending on how spicy you like it

Instructions

  1. Put cucumber, onion and pepper in a non-reactive bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Let sit for 4 hours or up to overnight (in fridge if overnight), stirring occasionally. Drain liquid from vegetables, rinse twice and drain completely.
  2. Place vinegar, 1 cup of water, minced garlic, red pepper flakes and 1 tbsp of salt in a large stainless steel or enamel pot. Bring liquid to a boil, then add in vegetables, return to a boil for 30 seconds or until the bright green color fades.
  3. Chop the dill finely, then sprinkle it evenly in the bottom of the hot, sterilized jars. It takes a lot of dill to really get the flavor in there, so don’t be shy with how much you use. Pack the vegetables tightly on top of the dill without the liquid into the jars. Really press down and get the vegetables wedged in there. When the jar is heated in the canning pot, the vegetables will shrink a bit, leaving a space, so the more you can fit in, the better. Pour the remaining liquid in the jars, leaving ½ inch headspace at the top.Clean the top of the jar, place lid on and process in a hot water bath—10 minutes half pints and 4 oz jelly jars, 15 minutes for pint jars.

Quick Notes

Yields 3 cups

Microformatting by hRecipe.

Recipe: Leena’s Zucchini BBQ Relish

Summary: Inspired by a recipe from Small Batch Preserving by Topp & Howard

Ingredients

  • 4 cups finely chopped zucchini (2 large)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 medium sweet green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seed
  • ½ tsp dry mustard powder
  • ½ tsp allspice powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Place zucchini, celery, pepper and onion in a non-reactive bowl. Top with salt and cover with cold water and several ice cubes. Let stand for one hour, then drain liquid, pressing out extra moisture, and saving the vegetables.
  2. Put the spices, sugar and vinegars in a large stainless steel or enamel pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, add vegetables. Bring pot back to a boil, then lower heat to simmer gently, with no lid until the micture has thickened, for up to 45 minutes.
  3. Take hot, sterilized jars and fill with relish, leaving ½ inch of headspace. Process jars for 10 minutes for half pints, 15 minutes for pint jars.

Quick Notes

Yields 3 1/4 cups.

Microformatting by hRecipe.

***If you have any extra pickles or relish that you didn’t have jars for, place them in covered tupperware in the fridge for one month, and then enjoy for up to three months.

~LTG!

Leena Cooks n Cans: Cucumber and Zucchini Pickles/Relishes for Julys Tigress Can Jam!

9 Comments

  1. briggsy

    28 Jul ’10

    Post a Reply

    wow, awesome! i'm also hoping to do a big project with the ever so versatile and delicious cuke–pickle 17 ways, if you will. i'm psyched to try the indian relish-thanks for the post!

  2. Leena

    29 Jul ’10

    Post a Reply

    Hey Briggsy,

    17 ways? Hot damn! Send me a link when you post about it, sounds amazing.

  3. Growandresist

    30 Jul ’10

    Post a Reply

    Love the indian relish idea…sounds awesome! And well done on the can-o-rama!

  4. Abbe

    1 Aug ’10

    Post a Reply

    Leena, I can hardly wait to try the bbq zucchini relish. Sooo many zucchini. Thanks for a new way to use them. You are my hero!

  5. Leena

    2 Aug ’10

    Post a Reply

    Hey Abbe,

    Let me know what you think. Its a nice way to make a really versatile relish and use up a ton of zucchini!

  6. Leann

    24 Aug ’10

    Post a Reply

    Okay, so you've totally got me. But I should really come over and teach you jam. It is not as hard as this by a lot.

  7. JJ

    5 Sep ’10

    Post a Reply

    “motivated lazy person” — love it! That's me, too. The indian relish looks yum — thanks for sharing!

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